NEW DELHI, India — The leader of India’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Wednesday that India should “arrest and punish” U.S. diplomats in India who have “same sex companions” as same-sex acts is illegal in the country.
“Media has reported that we have issued visas to a number of U.S. diplomats’ companions. ‘Companions’ means that they are of the same sex,” said former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha.
“Now, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is completely illegal in our country, just as paying less wages was illegal in the U.S. So, why does not the government of India go ahead and arrest them and punish them,” he said.
Last week, India’s Supreme Court struck down a 2009 lower court decision that had decriminalized homosexuality, restoring a colonial-era law – Section 377 – that criminalizes gay sex.
“My view is irrespective of Section 377. But the point is, as of now it is illegal,” Sinha added. “The law is still against same-sex relationships. Whether it should be there or not is another question.”
Sinha’s remarks followed a complaint by a maid that the diplomat who employed her was paying her less than the minimum wages stipulated under U.S. visa requirements.